discontinuity theory

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A theory of learning propounded by the US physiological psychologist Karl Spencer Lashley (1890–1958) according to which an organism does not learn gradually about stimuli (1) that it encounters but forms hypotheses, such as always turn left, and learns about a stimulus only in relation to its current hypotheses, so that a process of learning can include sudden jumps, as one hypothesis is replaced by another. Compare continuity theory.

Subjects: Psychology.

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